After canceling our regular April Orange County Republican Executive Committee meeting, Lew Oliver demonstrated how he is able to win elections and keep power even with insurmountable odds. First, change the meeting date and location to the outermost end of Orange County. I expect his plan was to confuse and discourage attendance. But our coalition of disenfranchised Republicans showed how much they wanted to restore the Party.
The second piece of skulduggery came by way of not calling a quorum when one was clearly present. We have multiple witnesses that saw Jonathan Swift (an executive of the Party) acknowledge that we did indeed have the requisite number of members present to do business. The problem was that if Oliver called a quorum with so many opponents present, we might be able to bring a vote of 'no confidence' against his shenanigans.
To thwart this outcome OCREC brass engaged a highly unethical procedure. Quickly Jonathan Swift instructed a dozen or so Oliver stalwarts to leave the meeting immediately, dropping attendance below the quorum requirement. This maneuver is forbidden even by OCREC's Model Constitution so we may file a formal complaint with the Republican Party of Florida.
More questionable actions by Oliver were exposed when Doug Guetzloe started asking questions about large undocumented checks. It was determined that Lew Oliver drew more than $13,000 out of OCREC coffers on the pretense of them being 'office expenses'. When pressed in the public meeting, Oliver sheepishly admitted that they were not office expenses at all but transfers of cash from various accounts. Readers should bear in mind that some of these 'transfers' were from OCREC's Federal Campaign funds which carry very strict disclosure requirements. Filing false campaign expenditure reports is a felony and punishable by fines, jail time or both. An investigation is continuing.
Our first guest was State House Representative Brian Nelson. He purports himself to be a Republican, and started begging a stunned OCREC audience to 'support commuter rail because there's going to be a station built right here in Apopka'. He followed that outrageous affront to Republican sensibilities, with the equally outrageous claim that there was no more money to be cut from the Florida 2009/2010 budget.
His question/answer period was the kind usually reserved for tax and spend liberals. This reporter stood up and asked, 'How can you support commuter rail and growth in government without walking away from core beliefs of the Republican Party.' Nelson's answer was a hodgepodge of 'nothing else can be done'. Then a second and third question came about the reckless spending of Tallahassee. By now the crowd was hooting and clapping each time someone challenged Nelson to defend his positions. Unfortunately there were no Democrats available to cheer Nelson.
Funniest line of the night was when one respected member of OCREC told us that commuter rail in South Florida lost so much money that taxpayers would have been better off hiring Rolls Royce's complete with chauffeurs to drive individual riders around.
Senator Mel Martinez sent a legislative aide as well to sing the praises of his 'boss'. He actually ended every statement with, 'well that's what the BOSS says.' After a while this metaphor seemed more apt, especially after another OCREC member was visibly upset with Mr. Martinez not listening to constituents complaints and voting for bills that were clearly out of sink with the majority. I was just about to yell, "Tell the BOSS that the peasants back home are getting restless," when he beat a hasty retreat.
With that Oliver quickly gaveled the meeting to a close. Textbook lesson on what's wrong with OCREC and why we must never stop fighting for our Party. Very soon the jig will be up for Oliver and we will finally win one for lower taxes, limited government, and personal freedom.
OCREC Precinct Committeeman #319
Orlando Liberty Campaign Organizer